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2021 Resident Visa - Application Process

(Updated on 12 January 2022)


The Resident visa for 2021 will be available in two parts, with the first cohort of applicants being able to apply on December 1, 2021.

You can start to apply from December 1, 2021, if you meet the following criteria:

  • on or before September 29, 2021, you applied for residency under the Skilled Migrant or Residence from Work categories, or
  • You have filed an Expression of Interest for the Skilled Migrant Category, and you have included your dependant child who is 17 years old or older on September 29, 2021.

All other qualified candidates, including those who have filed a Skilled Migrant Category Expression of Interest, will be able to apply from March 1, 2022.

By the 31st of July 2022, all applications must be submitted. Online applications are the sole way to apply.

Before they may proceed with their application, Phase one candidates must input their Skilled Migrant Category, Residence from Work application, or Expression of Interest number as part of the online application procedure. Only one application number can be used.


Application fees and refunds

The total cost of the 2021 Resident Visa, including GST, will be $2,160. A $1,330 application fee and a $830 immigration levy are included.

Charges will be collected differently for those who have already submitted an EOI or application for residence, and those who have not:

  • Applicants who submitted an EOI or application under SMC or Residence from Work:
    • You might not have to pay an application fee when you apply. When the application is decided, you will be offered to withdraw your previous application or EOI and either receive a refund or pay the difference in price, depending on whether your previous payment was higher or lower than the application fee.
  • Applicants who did not submit an EOI or application for residence:
    • You will need to pay the full application fee and levy of $2160 when you lodge the application.


Visa conditions

The 2021 Resident Visa will have the same visa conditions as other resident visa holders, including regular travel restrictions.

People who hold a resident visa must apply for permanent residence in order to travel freely in and out of New Zealand, after the conditions are met.


Processing timeframes

Immigration New Zealand projected most applications will be handled within a year, with the majority being processed substantially sooner.



If your application for a resident visa is denied, you will have the same appeal rights as any other applicant for a residence visa. You will be entitled to appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, which is an independent body. If you are not qualified for the new residency pathway and wish to stay in New Zealand permanently, you can look into alternative immigration possibilities.

If you do not qualify for the Resident Visa for 2021, you may still be eligible for other temporary work visas.



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